A few months ago, my editor sent me the mock-up for my coming September book, HOW TO CAPTURE A COUNTESS. I love getting the first peek at the covers of my coming books as it’s one of the few parts of my job that don’t require me to really DO anything; I just think of up potential cover elements and send them to my editor in a “It would be nice to have these things” email, and then I sit back and wait.
Eventually, she emails me a copy of the new cover, which I usually proceed to ohhhh and ahhhh over, but this time I didn’t. This time, to be blunt, I was a bit disappointed. Why, you ask? Because the hero looked a lot like the same, pudgy guy who delivers pizza to my house — very kind looking, certainly, but slightly balding and not really the sort of heart-breakingly handsome man I had in mind for the dashing Earl of Sinclair.
Here. I’ll show you what I mean. Here’s the original cover my editor sent me:
Like I said, it’s not bad. But the hero just didn’t DO it for me. I mentioned this to my editor and over the next few days I was sent a series of cover revisions.
At first, they moved the guy up in the picture until the top of his head was cut off. I think they were trying to hide his baldness, but honestly, it just made things worse.
Next, they moved the male model more to the left, which made it look as if a pair of oddly unattached arms was helping our heroine back into her shoe.
Finally, they tried to ‘gray’ him out, which made him look like a ghost.
All in all, I was not pleased. And I very gently and very kindly let my editor know. She told me she didn’t think any more changes could be made, but she’d ask. Meanwhile, I tried to tell myself that it was okay and that readers never look at covers, anyway. (Hey, I was desperate, ok?)
Fortunately, about a month ago, I got an email from my editor and it had this attached to it:
Yup, Pizza Man is gone and in his place is the sexy and dashing Earl of Sinclair. Now THAT’S more like it!
Do you pay attention to covers? Will a super sexy guy on the cover of a book make you pick it up faster than if it sported a picture of a balding, pudgy pizza delivery guy? Have you ever bought books just because you liked/loved a certain cover? Have you refused to buy a book because of a cover? What sort of covers do you hate? Which do you love?